Oscar Daniel Pimentel Imbert accomplished any pilot’s lifelong dream. To fly back to one’s country of birth and be received with an inaugural flight ceremony at the country’s most important airport.
A description of the traditional water salute ceremony, honored at several major airports worldwide, is needed for readers to understand the scope of what happened at Punta Cana International Airport on the day of the arrival of the Delta DL 1900 inaugural flight from Atlanta.
For the welcoming ritual that marks the special occasions of an inaugural flight, two fire engines are parked on either side of the runway and these use their water cannons to create a giant arc above a plane as the airplane taxies to its gate. There are even times when a ray of sunshine produces a rainbow. Regardless, the ritual makes a memorable impression on all who can witness.
Take note that the action requires precise tuning. The two fire engines need to be positioned carefully in safe locations, allowing enough space for the plane to pass through. The wind direction also needs to be taken into account. The process must be coordinated with Air Traffic Control, given that operations never stop at the airports where this ceremony occurs. The passengers on board are informed.
After the ceremony, Giovanni Rainieri, director of operations airside at Punta Cana International Airport would receive his childhood friend. Rainieri is also a graduate of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Pimentel Imbert is the son of physician and eclectic artist Thimo Pimentel, a ceramist who created the mural at the Punta Cana International Airport.
“I would like to be able to describe it to you, yet right now I have no words,” Pimentel Imbert told the Diario Libre reporter covering the event. “It was very exciting waiting for my family, my friends and all the people who have been part of my dreams,” said the young pilot after being greeted with the water arch at the Punta Cana International Airport.
Diario Libre explains that Pimentel Imbert began studying piloting early on at the Enalas aviation school (Centro de Enternamiento Aeronautico), where he was certified as a professional pilot. He did many Punta Cana International Airport internships starting at around 17 years old. In 2012, he left to study aviation sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
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21 November 2023